DePaul University Human Resources > Benefits > Leave of Absence > Voluntary Unpaid Time-Off

Voluntary Unpaid Time-Off

The voluntary unpaid time-off program allows eligible full-time staff and faculty to request authorized voluntary unpaid time away from work, without pay, but with benefits. The employee agrees not to perform any type of work related to DePaul during this time period.

Program Details

Eligible Employees:
Full-time staff and faculty. The program may not be appropriate to all areas of the university; management will work with each employee to determine impact on the services provided in that area. Graduate assistants, student workers, part-time employees, certain externally funded employees, and trades/union employees are not eligible to participate in the program.

Maximum Number of Days Allowed:
1 day to a maximum of 15 days per calendar year may be requested in whole day increments.

Request Form:
Voluntary Unpaid Time-Off Request Form​

Procedure/Process:

  1. Eligible employee requests voluntary unpaid time-off by submitting the Voluntary Unpaid Time-Off Request form to the manager at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the unpaid time-off.
  2. Manager reviews employee’s eligibility, assesses the feasibility of granting the voluntary unpaid time-off, and provides approval or denial by completing the manager’s portion of the Voluntary Unpaid Time-Off Request form.
    1. Manager provides copy of completed form to the employee.
    2. Manager submits completed form to HR Benefits for processing at least one week prior to the commencement of the unpaid time-off.
  3. HR Benefits sends e-mail to employee that identifies any impact to benefits premium and confirmation of time-off approval to the employee. Depending on continuous number of unpaid time-off days requested, an employee may be required to make benefit premium payments prior to commencement of the time off. HR Benefits will contact the employee to discuss.
  4. HR Benefits receives the completed form and coordinates with Payroll.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a new hire, am I eligible to participate in this program?

Yes, full-time faculty and staff are eligible to participate in the voluntary unpaid time-off program immediately upon hire. ​

Can a faculty member participate in the voluntary unpaid time-off program?

A faculty member may participate in the voluntary unpaid time-off program. However the faculty member must review and obtain approval for day(s) off with the Department Chair and the Dean to ensure the education of our students is not adversely affected. For further information on how a full time faculty member might participate in the Voluntary Unpaid Time Off program, please contact Kelly Johnson, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. ​

Do I need to provide my manager with a reason or documentation to support my request as I go through the request process?

No, you are not required to provide managers with an explanation or documentation explaining why you want to use voluntary unpaid time-off days. ​

How do I record a voluntary unpaid time-off day?

Non-exempt employees will record hours associated with voluntary unpaid time-off days on the weekly timesheet in the Time & Labor system.

Exempt employees will have their pay reduced in the week/month in which the voluntary unpaid time-off has been taken, as the number of pre-approved days listed on the employee’s Voluntary Unpaid Time-Off Request form. ​

Do I have the option of using the 15 days as additional time-off, if I am currently on (or will be commencing) another form of approved leave?

Yes, employees are not required to provide managers with an explanation or documentation of why they want to use voluntary unpaid time-off days. Requests for voluntary unpaid time-off days are approved or denied in accordance with the voluntary unpaid time-off program guidelines. Voluntary unpaid time off must be requested and approved at least two weeks prior to the date(s) taken and is subject to operational needs. ​

As a non-exempt employee how will the voluntary unpaid time-off affect my sick time accrual?

Non-exempt employees will continue to accrue sick time during the approved voluntary unpaid time-off. ​

Can I request a voluntary unpaid time-off day prior to an observed holiday, after an observed holiday, or in conjunction with my vacation?

Yes, an employee may schedule unpaid time-off, subject to manager approval, before or after a holiday and pay for the holiday will not be affected. ​

If I have a voluntary unpaid time-off day(s) scheduled for the next payroll period, am I allowed to request a salary advance for the same pay period?

Yes, the amount you request will be the determining factor for the amount that is approved. If the request is for the net of your biweekly pay, that is the amount you will be approved, minus the amount for the voluntary unpaid time-off day(s) taken. ​

Is there a deadline for managers to submit the approved Voluntary Unpaid Time-Off Request form to Human Resources for processing?

Yes, the deadline for a manager to submit the form to HR Benefits for processing is one week prior to the commencement of the unpaid time-off. ​

As a manager, am I required to track any information related to my direct reports approval to participate in the voluntary unpaid time-off program?

Yes, managers will be responsible for establishing request guidelines within their areas for time off, tracking time taken and addressing any issues that surface related to voluntary days off used. ​